I am not That Girl

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page.

When I heard “I am not That Girl” by Ariel LaChelle, I knew I wanted it on the Sparks page of my blog.

It’s longer that what is usually posted here.
It’s so amazing, I could not resist.
You can read it and watch Ariel perform “I am not That Girl” in her own strong and melodic voice.

I am not That Girl
By Ariel LaChelle

Even though the term “That Girl”
Was created by black girls,
I don’t fit the requirements
Because I am a Fat Girl.
And ‘cause I have tight curls
That become more angry
If I dip my scalp in the water,
Then let my hair air dry
And don’t try
To keep it in order.

No styling,
No stretching,
No products,
No dye,
But I feel like I might
If this guy
Continues to undermine
My sensitivity.

My femininity
Because of my size.
He’ll generalize me
Asking “how tall are you,”
And “how much do you weigh?”
Before he ever asks me
“How do you feel?”
Using my looks as the barometer
To measure my worth.

He calls me low value
He regards me lower than dirt,
Because at least you can get flowers from dirt.
I’m not a rose,
I’m not so easy to pluck.
I’m no longer so simple so
I’m less easy to ____

I get that from my grandma

Her birthday is Earth day
And she died in so much pain
If I’m here and I’m healthy
How can I complain
With groundwater in my veins?
I’m a tree
Rooted deeply
I’m big and sturdy
And whole ecosystems
Thrive off of me.

They took the healing power
Of my fruit for granted
Just because it’s sour.
They took forever to
Make tonic and lemonade with it,
Then took the credit
Without realizing that
Was my intention.
To show them creativity.
In the face of adversity
And provide them with cleansing.

That’s the smell of clean
I’m sorry everyone can’t be
The Giving Tree
Yes I’m inspired but baby
This ain’t Shel Silverstein.

I stay in the background
Black bodies swayed from my limbs
And I remember that sound
Of wind, swooshing around.

When the picnic was not a good thing,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh
Could not be washed out
By the storm
And the rainbow was not enough
To take our mind off of it
‘Cause it was the norm.

The picnic was not a good thing,
So we made the cookout.
And we made enough bread
To build a tree house instead
We saying: “We Made It!”
But we live in our pain.
It’s bittersweet,
Like a house made of gingerbread
That would lure me in
Just so the owner could
Devour me.

Fattened up
Like a gullible kid
Who loves cake.
I love the way
That sugar feels in my heart
And how savory delicacies
Stimulate my palette
And my mind,
Like a painting of flavor
I savor
It like the wine
That I’ve been known to decline.
I guess we all have a vice.
We all get drunk on something.

I used to smoke and have sex
To clear my head.
I used to cut myself
And release tears
In the form of blood
From the gashes.
I used to burn myself
In ways that wouldn’t
Turn me to ashes,
Only hurt myself
Until I could forget
What had happened.

But I am no longer THAT girl.

Now I just eat my feelings sometimes
So yeah, I am a fat girl.
But I can lose a few pounds,
That’s an easy weight to drop.
The one that’s harder and heavier
Is what you carry around in your soul

That compels you to
Rip others apart,
In hopes of looking inside of them
And seeing something you’re missing.

I hope you see
This vulnerability
As an invitation to do the same
And find some chivalry
Or at least some civility
I hope you see the love of God in me
Because I go to lions’ dens
Trying to do some good
And I come back feeling like Job
Y’all ganging up on me!

Because I don’t wear your colors,
I wear all of them.
Because I don’t act like others
I be appalling them.
But I don’t try to shut anyone up
I listen to you
And all I hear is anger and wounds.
Yeah, I do

Need to lose weight, but honey…
So do you.

Ariel LaChelle is an independent singer, songwriter, poet, composer, and arranger with an Associate’s Degree in Music Production from The Los Angeles Recording School.
As a child, she started to write poetry and displayed a natural affinity for storytelling. This came in handy during her teenage years, which were riddled with trials, trauma, and triggers caused by abuse, homelessness, toxic relationships, depressive episodes, and panic attacks. Writing, singing, and praying became her outlets as she recovered from self-harm scars–both external and internal.
Her goal is to write divinely-inspired pieces that explore the beauty and poetry in the nuances of life, love, pain, and interconnectedness as we know it today. She sees her poetry and music as a small contribution to the story and the soundtrack of life.

Note from Marlene: I think Ariel has accomplished her goal of writing “divinely-inspired pieces.”

I learned about Ariel at one of Kevin Powell’s writing workshops. A shout out to Kevin Powell for inspiring writers.

Spring/Summer 2022: Kevin is offering Friday Night Writing, and Sunday Writer Events, info on Kevin’s Facebook Page.

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